The first time I heard of Spencer was when my uncle married a woman who had two children about my age. They came from Spencer. They said it was near Bloomington. I had no idea where Bloomington was, so that wasn’t any help in locating the place. Turns out it’s right here, on State Road 67.
Spencer is also on US 231, which is concurrent with SR67 here, and State Road 46. Through most of town, the three highways share the same route. State Road 67 enters from the northeast until it reaches Morgan Street, which is the town’s main drag. Here it joins SR 46’s route. On the west end of town, SR 46 and SR67/US 231 go their separate ways, SR 67 resuming its southwesterly trajectory.
If you drive east out of town on SR 46, by the way, you’ll shortly reach the straight-up gorgeous McCormick’s Creek State Park. About a half hour farther and you’ll reach Bloomington.
Spencer is the seat of Owen County. Founded in 1820, it was named for Speir Spencer, a militia captain who died in the Battle of Tippecanoe. About 2,200 people live in Spencer.
Strangely, Spencer’s town square and business district is not on SR 67. Rather, it’s a couple blocks south of it, which is unusual. Here’s the Owen County Courthouse at the center of the square.
The Spencer Public Library, a Carnegie library, is on the southeast corner of the square.
Here’s the north side of the square.
Finally, the Tivoli Theater stands a block off the northeast corner of the square.
Things look mighty tidy in and around Spencer’s square. Like a nitwit, I failed to photograph SR 67 through town. It is not as tidy and does not present this good of an image of this town.
Where SR 67 and SR 46 split on the west end of town you’ll find an old alignment of SR 67. The road used to curve less sharply and cross a bridge that is now closed to traffic before flowing onto 5th Avenue. The road becomes CR 40 W before it rejoins the current alignment of SR 67.
Here’s that bridge, southbound, looking forlorn.
Next: Rounding up Owen County, a lot of narrow gravel old alignments and a town called Freedom.